Why Do a Writing Workshop in Bali With Global Hobo?
Do you have itchy feet? Are you having a mini quarter-life crisis, or feeling stuck in a rut trying to figure out what the hell to do with your life? Do you want to hone your writing skills and learn how to make money from them?
In our extremely professional opinion, a month in Bali doing one of our writing and language workshops tends to be the perfect antidote to such feelings! There, you’ll live amongst the rice paddies with a bunch of other like-minded solo travellers (aka your future best mates); will attend daily classes on writing, pitching and starting a business; and will spend all your free time immersing yourself in the magic of Balinese culture and tropical af island life.
If this sounds up your alley, you may just be the perfect candidate. And if you’re still not convinced, we’ve lined up a hoard of reasons to further tickle your fancy.
We encourage responsible tourism in Bali
It’s no secret that tourists – particularly Australians, who tend to make up about 70 percent of our workshops – have a bit of a bad reputation in Bali. We’re passionate about changing that by bringing a group over who are interested in experiencing Bali’s culture, learning its language and tapping into its wonder beyond the tourism vortex. Similarly, Australia’s media has a habit of framing Bali to look like a dangerous and debaucherous party destination, and quite frankly, we’re bloody sick of it – as are the Balinese. We want you to help us turn things around by seeing the real Bali, so you can go home and tell your 60-Minutes watching rellies how safe and fabulous the island actually is.
We support aspiring writers and promote diversity
At Global Hobo, we want to build an accessible community around storytelling, dismantle the hierarchies that exist within the media industry and showcase a diverse range of voices. As such, our writers and teachers come from a variety of backgrounds – culturally, socially and professionally – and our course material reflects this. Though we’re an Australian company, you don’t need to be Australian to do the program – we’ve had students from Hong Kong, Bolivia, India, Norway, Israel and more. If you come from somewhere where it’s difficult to get a travel visa, we’ll make every effort to help you, and if English is not your first language, that’s not a problem either.
During our programs (and also outside of them), we pour immense energy into helping new and emerging writers develop their writing. We’re always keen to take students with little to no experience, and firmly believe that institutionalised education is not necessarily for everyone. So don’t be afraid to apply if the only thing you’ve ever written is a scribble of graffiti on a toilet door or a spot of poetry in a secret diary somewhere.
Conversely, if you were born with a pen in your hand and have been writing stories since birth, or you’re in the midst of a degree, we’d love to have you too! Most universities in Australia have accredited our workshops as going towards journalism or communications degrees as part of the work-integrated learning program. Everyone is welcome and we cater to all levels and abilities.
We’re passionate about sustainable, conscious and meaningful travel
Wherever possible, we strive to travel sustainably. In Bali, this means living in a village outside of the main tourist drag, supporting Indonesian-owned businesses and paying any locals we subcontract a wage they decide is fair. It also means promoting sustainable travel practices, making people aware of the need to dismantle neo-colonialist attitudes to travel and sharing more than one narrative about a place.
An important part of this is learning and (at least having a solid crack at) speaking Indonesian – an integral course component that will add so much to the way you interact with people! All the teachers at the language school we work with, Cinta Bahasa, are creative, interesting and fabulous: poets, painters, writers, café owners and musicians, just to name a few. Working so closely with them every day will give you another window into modern Balinese culture, youth and art.
Our workshops are run in Canggu (pronounced Chan-goo), which is a low-key hipster paradise. It’s also full of foreigners and foreign-owned businesses, but the part we live in is a back neighbourhood called Dalung – in beautiful wooden bungalows owned by a Balinese guy called Kadek. There, you’ll wake up to the crow of roosters, will be able to buy afternoon bowls of bakso from street vendors for less than a dollar and will see families going about their everyday lives.
One weekend, we also escort you to a cooking school on an organic farm in a village north of Tegallang. That farm is the lifeblood of the whole village – residents can plant their veggies in a plot provided they donate 10 percent to the cooking classes, and the school brings money in for everyone. Plus, Balinese food is that goddamn tasty you’re going to want to learn how you can recreate it at home!
We’re big on inclusivity and accessibility, and are confident we can adapt our accommodation, course structure and course delivery to suit your needs or abilities. In the past, we’ve had students who are wheelchair users, we’ve had students who are deaf, we’ve had students who are vision impaired, we’ve had students with mobility issues, we’ve had students who have learning disabilities and we’ve had students with very high levels of anxiety – so if you’d like more information, just swing us a message! We’d also love to have input from you as to how we can make our programs as accessible as possible for everyone.
We’re independent, and we self-monetise
No matter where in media you look, publications and newspapers and magazines are drowning in their attempts to stay afloat. Most glossies you would’ve read as a child have folded, and practically every publication you try to access online has either a pay wall, distracting pop-ups begging you to throw a few dollars their way or a plethora of terrible advertorial. The Australian government has merged the arts department with the transport department too, so funding options have seriously shrunken, unless we’re keen to start trying to run workshops aboard a tram (lol).
It’s no small feat attempting to stay afloat in these times, but our writing workshops help us to do so. We reckon we’ve crafted a killer program, and we have an outstanding line-up of teaching staff. Not only are we heavily stimulating the local economies of the countries we travel in, but with the profits, we are also able to pay our staff, pay our writers and fund the website, which allows us to remain strictly independent – a fact that has never been more important with Murdoch owning more than 80 percent of Australia’s newspapers. So know that when you come on a Global Hobo workshop, you’re actively supporting independent Australian media.
Applications for our next season of writing workshops are now open!